Tree root excavation planned for felling symbol Rustlings Road in Sheffield

Save the trees campaign on Rustlings Road in Sheffield.
Save the trees campaign on Rustlings Road in Sheffield.

Trees on a leafy road which has become a symbol of the Sheffield controversy over felling are to be examined next week to see if they can be saved.

Some 11 trees are due to be felled on Rustlings Road, close to Endcliffe Park.

A campaign to save them has grown into a call for city-wide scrutiny of felling as part of Sheffield Council’s Streets Ahead project with contractor Amey.

Amey says the 11 trees are damaging the pavements and seven will have to be axed and replaced because of the ‘extent of the damage’ they are causing. It says that another tree is diseased and will have to be replaced.

On Friday, October 23, the Streets Ahead team will hand dig around three trees on the road and expose the roots to see if work could be carried out around the trees so they can be retained instead of cut down.

No trees will be removed on that day and no date has been set for when they will be.

Coun Terry Fox, cabinet member for environment, said: “If we can use one of our sensitive engineering solutions to help retain any of these three trees, then that is what we will do.”

However, campaigners from group Save Our Roadside Trees have written to Coun Fox to ask why the work is going ahead before a meeting to discuss alternative solutions that they presented at a highway tree forum in September.

They have also asked if workmen who excavate the roots will have received training in how to minimise root damage, if the work will be supervised by a ‘competent arboriculturalist’ and to see documentary evidence of the method being used.

Campaigners have just taken down a tent that they put up in Endcliffe Park, and kept manned for a month, to raise the profile of their fight.